Gasol and Memphis rally to beat Kings
Memphis, TN (Sports Network) – Pau Gasol poured in 34 points and tied a
franchise record with eight blocks, as the Memphis Grizzlies rallied from a
double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter to topple the Sacramento Kings,
124-117, at FedExForum.
Gasol was 14-of-17 from the field and also came down with eight rebounds for
the Grizzlies, who had dropped seven of nine heading into this contest.
The record eight blocks is shared by Stromile Swift.
“I think Pau’s effort indicates his capabilities,” Grizzlies coach Tony Barone
said. “He made tough shots and came back from a tough night at the free throw
line. He had eight blocked shots. That’s a key for us obviously. If he can do
that for us, it gives us a presence in the paint.”
Mike Miller had 27 points and six assists in the win, and Chucky Atkins
finished with 22 points and seven dimes.
“We’ve had to come from behind a lot this year,” Atkins said. “We had to
establish ourselves defensively and not turn the ball over. That gave us an
opportunity to get baskets. We can run if we don’t turn it over. Guys made
good plays offensively and defensively.”
Mike Bibby netted 23 points and Kevin Martin had 22 for Sacramento, which has
dropped three in a row and 11 of 14. Ron Artest scored 21 points in a losing
Memphis trailed by 10 heading into the final stanza, but started the fourth
with an 8-0 run to move within two, 93-91. Atkins had the last six points in
that burst, including a three with 10:38 on the clock to cap it.
“That 8-0 run gave [the Grizzlies] life,” Bibby said. “Basketball is a game of
runs. They went in and capitalized on it. We tried to hang in there, but
didn’t. We went away from what we were doing in the first half. We kept
fighting, but they beat us on the boards.”
Sacramento responded by scoring the next six points, and moved ahead 99-91 on
a pair of Corliss Williamson free throws.
That was the theme of the fourth quarter: The Grizzlies would make a run, only
to have the Kings lash right back.
In the closing minutes, however, Memphis generated an 11-2 spurt that
Sacramento had no answer for. Gasol tied the game at 112-112 with 1:33 left
with a baby hook, then Atkins swooped in and nailed a layup moments later to
put the home team in front.
The defense stiffened on the other end before Atkins drilled two free throws
to push the Memphis advantage to 116-112. Bibby cut the margin to one with a
three with about 30 seconds remaining, but Miller drained a three of his own
on the ensuing possession to help ice the game.
The contest was tied at 34-34 after one quarter, but the Kings outscored the
Grizzlies 32-21 in the second frame to bring a 66-55 lead into the locker
The Grizzlies own a 9-14 record at FedExForum this season and will also host
Dallas, Indiana and Houston in the remainder of their five-game
homestand…The Kings are 0-3 on their current four-game road swing. They
complete the trip at Minnesota Wednesday…Memphis shot a blazing 59 percent
from the floor, while the Kings shot 47 percent.